CHICAGO — Listen in on any parent-teacher conference and you’ll hear teachers asking, “What is your most pressing concern for your child?” Nine times out of 10, parents of elementary-school students will answer: “I want him/her to read better.”
Difficulties with reading are a major roadblock to students’ overall academic success, and the statistics are startling.
Nearly a third of all fourth-graders failed to reach a “basic” level of reading ability, according to a 2017 report by the National Assessment of Educational Progress’ Nation’s Report Card on Reading. And by eighth grade, nearly a quarter of students still didn’t have such basic skills as identifying statements of main idea, theme or author’s purpose; making simple inferences from texts; or interpreting the meaning of a word based on how it is used.
Needless to say, these are averages — reading scores for black, Hispanic and Native-American/Pacific-Islander students are even lower. As a general rule, affluent white children are taught literacy skills at home and arrive at school largely able to read, whereas low-income children’s parents expect that reading instruction will be the sole purview of the school.
This inconsistency in home support is magnified when you factor in the preparation that teachers bring to the singularly crucial task of reading instruction.
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According to the National Council on Teacher Quality (NCTQ), 40 states (including D.C.) still either do not have sufficient licensing tests on the science of reading in place for elementary and special-education teachers, or they have no test at all. And only 11 states have adequate tests for people applying to be elementary-school or special-education teachers, even though 80 percent of students assigned to special education are there because of …read more
Source:: The Mercury News – Politics